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Whangarei Quarry Gardens


Garden Overview

The Whangarei Quarry Gardens is a tropical themed garden set within a disused stone quarry in the western hills of Whangarei. The gardens are run almost exclusively through volunteer labour with over 10000 hours of volunteer labour in our garden each year.

The garden features a large man-made lake fed from two waterfalls. The water then continues to meander through the gardens creating a special atmosphere with the sound of running water heard from most locations in the garden. 

The stone quarry walls, shelter and the lake all help create a wonderful microclimate for growing subtropical plants. Gravel or sealed paths lead all through the garden with many special destinations including the Camellia collection, Bromeliad Garden, five senses garden and the wedding lawn.

Walking and golf cart tours are available if the visitor is looking for a deeper experience as well as information signs scattered throughout the garden.

Our Camellias

whangareigardens 02The collection of over 200 Camellias forms our most-prized plant collection at Whangarei Quarry Gardens. Our unique collection is built around the Camellia cultivars produced by two local plant breeders: Jim Finlay and Os Blumhardt, including many fragrant varieties found in no other public garden in the world.
Our first plantings of Camellias started in the early 2000s, with some of these Camellias now having grown into large trees. Our Camellias collection is integrated into the whole garden and provides a lovely green backdrop for tropical plantings when Camellias are not flowering.

Jim Finlay (1925-2009) was a resident of Whangarei and a member of the Whangarei Branch of the New Zealand Camellia Society. In 2001 and 2003, Jim gifted his collection to the Whangarei Quarry Gardens, for the enjoyment of the community, and to keep the collection where it was developed, meaning Whangarei Quarry Gardens has the world’s largest collection of scented Camellias. 

At Whangarei Quarry Gardens we have 90 of Jim’s cultivars, 12 of which are still to be identified. The detective work continues each flowering season, using Jim’s own photo album and numbering, to look for different cultivars, and perhaps one of the few named ones that are missing from our collection.

The Camellia collection forms the backdrop to our wedding lawn and continues running parallel to the stream that dissects the gardens. Additional planting of groundcovers and specimen trees help sit the collection within the garden. A sealed walkway allows easy access to most of the collection and provides a great point to enjoy the fantastic scents produced by the blooms.


Contact Details

Whangarei Quarry Gardens
37A Russell Road 
Whangarei 0112
New Zealand

Tel: (09) 437 7210
Email: admin@whangareigardens.org.nz 
Web: www.whangareigardens.org.nz


Visitor information

Opening Times

We are open 7 days a week, 9am -5pm
Closed Christmas Day and New Years Day
There is a café on site, open Wednesday to Sunday 9am – 3pm

Best Time to Visit

March – October for Camellia blooms.

Late Spring is a great time to visit the whole garden with many plants looking their best.

37A Russell Road


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